Withings Pulse Ox Fitness Tracker

April 27, 2014

I own a Withings Pulse and gave up with the sleep monitoring when the velcro cloth band it came with worn out over time. Furthermore, the whole idea of removing the tracker from the hip clip and wearing it on the wrist prior to sleep made the whole process just a tad unbearable for me.

I’m not alone and clearly Withings has garnered enough feedback to launch a companion product  to solve the problem. Owners of the old Pulse need not fret, a convenient upgrade would bring your old unit up to par with the new version Pulse Ox; bracelet sold separately.


Withings Pulse Ox attached on bracelet.

It is now convenient to track heart rate, blood oxygen level and sleep. The bracelet is a good move and adding a new measurement parameter somewhat extends the lifespan of the dated Withings Pulse.

The bracelet allows the Withings Pulse Ox to be worn on the wrist. With the update in firmware, you also have a choice of vertical or horizontal display of time. Tres Bien! A new added feature is the measuring of blood O2 level along with the heart rate. Sleep tracking will cease when the Pulse unit senses that you’ve woken up.

Personally i still see a few areas that could’ve made the Withings Pulse Ox awesome.

The Withings Pulse Ox is still not water-proof. So wearing it on your wrist and bringing it for a long sweaty run may not be the most ideal way of treating the Pulse tracker.

If auto-wake can be enabled, then why not auto sleep? With Misfit Shine, Polar Loop, Basis Band peddling auto sleep tracking, it seems funny that an update merely brings the Pulse O2 closer to the competition and not ahead.

While resting heart rate over time tend to imply an improvement in cardiovascular fitness, there is little being said about blood O2 level other than it being a health indicator detailing the efficiency of the respiratory system.

Also the watch function is not always on. In order to see the time, it’s still necessary to press the main button although you’d find yourself straining to see the display under the sun.

Will this entice you to go out and get yourself a Withings Pulse Ox?

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  • Reply Frank April 29, 2014 at 4:46 pm

    The display is the deal breaker for me. I tried the Pulse and found it absolutely impossible to read in daylight. They need to address this and the non-waterproof aspect before I’d be interested in one again.

    • Reply Michael S April 30, 2014 at 5:41 am

      Frank i agree with you. Visibility in bright daylight for the Pulse is near non-existent. And the lack of water-proof aspect. Then again there are very few trackers from the early 2013 that are water-proof; at least IP67. Most are splash or weather proof. I find the positive features outweigh the negative features and i’m still a fan of the Pulse. The wrist bracelet, not so much.

      The Fitbit Force was good before the recall. I’m still using my unit. Garmin Vivofit reads great in broad daylight but is impossible to read in the dark. You win some, lose some.

      Hope you find a tracker that suits you.

  • Reply stefano April 29, 2014 at 8:14 pm

    Hem, where i can find the vertical time setting ?

    • Reply stefano April 29, 2014 at 8:20 pm

      ok, found 😀

      • Reply Michael S April 30, 2014 at 5:44 am

        Glad you found it Stefano. I would love to hear how the bracelet is working out for you.

  • Reply SteveP May 8, 2014 at 1:38 am

    The companion app needs a lot more work. Withings need to give us users a way to set up our own goals (for # of steps, hrs sleep, and others) It is way too limited in forcing the users to take the default parameters. For that, it doesn’t bold well for my usage. I like the device and thinks the pulse tracker and O2 is a plus.

    • Reply Michael S May 8, 2014 at 3:04 pm

      Agreed. The app has a lot of room for improvement. Let’s hope future updates gives users this flexibility and control over the goals.

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